Global corporate funding into the solar sector, including venture capital and private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing totaled $9.7 billion in 2018 compared to the $12.8 billion raised in 2017, Mercom Capital Group said.
Global VC funding for the solar sector fell 18 percent to $1.3 billion in 65 deals in 2018 from $1.6 billion in 99 deals in 2017.
Of the $1.3 billion in VC funding raised in 65 deals in 2018, $1.2 billion went to 50 solar downstream companies.
VC funding into PV technology companies was $37 million, and service providers raised $28 million. Balance of System (BOS) companies raised $25 million, Thin-film companies raised $25 million, and Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) raised $2.4 million.
The top solar VC funded companies in 2018 included Cypress Creek Renewables with $200 million, GreenYellow with $174 million, Amp Solar with $154 million, Wunder Capital with $112 million, and Sunnova Energy with $100 million.
Public market financing in solar segment in 2018 was $2.3 billion in 21 deals compared to $1.7 billion in 33 deals in 2017.
In 2018, announced debt financing reached $6 billion in 53 deals versus $9.5 billion in 74 deals during 2017. There were five securitization deals totaling $1.4 billion compared to $1.3 billion in 2017.
Large-scale project funding announced in 2018 reached $14 billion in 182 deals versus $14 billion in 167 deals during 2017. 182 investors funded ~15 GW of large-scale solar projects in 2018.
The top large-scale project investors included the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Dutch development bank FMO and Natixis.
The number of solar merger and acquisition transactions reached 82 in 2018 compared to 72 transactions in 2017, with solar downstream companies accounting for 49.
The solar sector set a record in 2018 with 29GW of project acquisitions with the number of acquisitions touching 218 in 2018 from 228 in 2017.